REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. SAHAR NASSER, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN AT THE SECOND INFORMAL-INFORMAL MEETING AT THE EXPERT LEVEL ON THE ALIGNMENT OF THE AGENDA OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN FULL SUPPORT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 21 May 2019)
1. At the outset, the Group wishes to thank the Distinguished Co-facilitators for convening today's informal-informal consultation at the expert level.
2. The Group stresses that our ultimate goal is to enhance synergies of all UN bodies in order to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. It is evident that with the current insufficient level of progress, we will not be able to meet the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda within 11 years, when this agenda comes to an end. Therefore, the Group emphasizes that the first approach and focus should be on covering all SDGs to ensure the full and comprehensive realization of the 2030 Agenda by the year 2030.
3. We must also bear in mind that the 2030 Agenda is of an interrelated and integrated nature, and the SDGs are not siloed. On the contrary, they are interlinked; therefore, we are of the view that overlaps are difficult to be identified.
4. The Group reemphasizes that overlaps, if they are found to exist, should be studied on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration specific mandates and perspectives of UN organs.
5. The Group reaffirms the ownership and leadership of Member States on this exercise in both the GA and the ECOSOC, as well as their role in making good use of existing mandates, safeguarding the sovereign rights of all States to decide on the actions to be taken.
6. Furthermore, we reemphasize that the UN and its agenda are broader than the 2030 Agenda, and that the UN development issues, activities and programs will go far beyond the year 2030. In this regard, the Group reiterates that the alignment process should be compatible with the mandates of the GA, ECOSOC and their subsidiary bodies that will continue beyond the year 2030.
On the updated matrix:
7. We reaffirm that the full and comprehensive implementation of the 2030 Agenda is the most relevant issue for developing countries. It is of the highest importance for the Group that this alignment process leads to a comprehensive coverage of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and targets, recalling the overarching priority of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions. In this regard, since 10 SDGs are covered thus far, the Group would like to know when will the remaining 7 SDGs be included in the matrix coverage.
8. The updated version should include all 17 SDGs in a holistic measure that encompasses all SDGs and treat each goal equally with percentage coverage of every SDG and its targets. The finalization of the remaining SDGs will provide an enhanced understanding of the coverage as we move forward.
9. Along with the remaining 7 SDGs, unaddressed Agendas of importance to the Group, such as Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), which pose a significant threat to the objective of sustainable development, must be included in the updated version. Forums that contribute to the 2030 Agenda, such as the Partnership Forum, should be included as well. Also, both the Management and the Integration Segments should be included in the ECOSOC section.
10. We have noticed that the focus in this matrix is on two committees only (the Second and the Third), which gives the impression that we are viewing that the Second and Third committees as the only ones following the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which is not the case. Thus, first, we wish to ask for clarification on how are we aligning all the other GA Main Committees with the 2030 Agenda, and second, we would like to see the plenary and each GA committee listed separately.
11. The Group asserts that improvement is required in the coverage methodology in order to efficiently identify all agendas and relevant Committees which play an important role in the alignment process. Additional columns need to be added to the mapping assessment to include the agendas and work pertaining to excluded Committees, such as the Fourth and Sixth Committees.
12. We look forward to have clarity on the timetable of the informal consultations and the release of the updated coverage given the current time constraint.